The Academic Program
Requirements for Graduation with the TAMS Diploma
The core courses required for graduation with the TAMS diploma are:
- Biology 1711, 1730 (lab), 1722, 1740 (lab)
- Chemistry 1410, 1430 (lab), 1420 , 1440 (lab)
- Physics 1710, 1730 (lab), 2220, 2240(lab)
- Mathematics 1710, 1720 (at least two semesters at this level or higher)
Note: Some students will be required to take MATH 1650 prior to MATH 1710.
- English 1315, 1325, 2210, 2220
- History 2610, 2620
- Political Science 1040 or 1050
All core courses must be taken at TAMS/UNT during the Fall and Spring semesters. No college or university courses a student has taken elsewhere will be accepted in lieu of the required core courses. All courses, including electives, must be taken in standard format – that is, none can be taken on-line or by correspondence and we do not recognize credit by exam. TAMS students may not take classes on the Pass/Fail Option. The minimum cumulative GPA required for graduation is 3.0.
Requirements for Graduation with the Honors Diploma
Requirements for Graduation with the HONORS DIPLOMA
- Cumulative GPA for the four semesters is at least 3.5
- Grades of A or B in every course, including elective courses
- No classes have been duplicated
- No more than 30 disciplinary points at any time during your tenure at TAMS
- A minimum of 80 hours community service, with 40 of these completed by the end of the Junior year
Note: Since grades for the fourth semester are not available at the time of graduation, only those students who are eligible based on the first three semesters will be allowed to wear the Honors Medal for the ceremony and be listed in the program as Honors Graduates. If the fourth semester grades make a student eligible for the Honors Diploma, the medal and the diploma will be mailed to the student mid to late summer.
Standard Sequence for Required Courses
Fall Semester –
Spring Semester –
Fall Semester –
Spring Semester –
Note: Academy students are required to enroll for at least 12 hours each semester.
Beginning with the Spring Semester of the Junior year, students may enroll in electives with the following constraints:
- Students who are on academic probation may not take electives.
- If the cumulative GPA is 3.5 – 4.0, then two elective courses in addition to those listed in the Standard Sequence may be chosen.
- If the cumulative GPA is 3.0 – 3.49, then one elective course in addition to the Standard Sequence may be taken.
The Academy provides textbooks for all courses. These books must be returned to the bookroom at the end of the semester or if at any time the student withdraws from the Academy. Students are required to pay for lost, stolen, or damaged books and materials. Textbooks are distributed only during the first two weeks of class and it is the responsibility of the student to pick them up then; otherwise, the student will be required to buy their own books. TAMS does not provide textbooks for summer school enrollment.
Class Schedule and Registration
The TAMS Academic Office will register students for their first semester in approved courses. After the first semester, students will pre-register following guidelines found in the UNT Schedule of Classes. Prior to registration for the Spring semester, students are required to complete the Class Advising Worksheet for approval by the Academic Counselor. Registration in classes that begin after 7:00 p.m. or in classes (other than labs) that meet more than two hours at a time are not permitted. Each student’s schedule must show classes on each day of the week (Monday through Friday). Students must enroll in at least 12 hours each semester. In order to enroll for more than 18 hours, the student must have permission from the TAMS Academic Office. No student may enroll for more than 21 hours. A student’s parents are responsible for reimbursing the Academy for schedule change fees or late registration fees.
Class Attendance and Conduct in the Classroom
Class attendance and participation is required. Students must be alert, attentive, energetic, and eager to learn. Students who exhibit disruptive behavior or show disrespect to a teacher in the classroom are subject to severe disciplinary sanctions. The Academy does not authorize absences from class. Only the teacher in the class can approve class absences, and should be consulted regarding both planned and unplanned absences. It is the student's responsibility to make up any work missed.
Students must report all absences to the Academic Office within 36 hours of the absence by completing an Absence Report Form online (see Academics on the TAMS Website). Absence reports are routed directly to the class' Academic Counselor.
If a student is absent for an unexcused reason (oversleeps, forgets to go, etc.), the student will meet with the Academic Counselor to review the reasons for the absence. The parents will be notified immediately. If it appears that the reasons for the absence are such that the Student Life staff can help, the Academic Counselor will ask for that assistance.
In addition, for each absence, the student is required to spend two consecutive hours in structured study time for each hour of class missed, with a specific assignment from the Academic Counselor related to the class missed. A copy of the completed assignment will become part of the student's in-house record.
If a student is too ill to attend class, then they are required to notify their parents and a parent must call the Academic Counselor by 5:00 p.m. that same day. The student must also file an absence report.
If a student knows in advance they will miss classes (for example: doctor's appointment, college visit, etc.), the student must notify their teachers and the Academic Counselor in advance of the absence. An Absence Report Form must be filed prior to the absence.
Please be aware that
- unexcused class absences (reported by the student or not) or
- failure to report class absences or
- disruptive classroom behavior
Whenever it appears that the class absences are excessive or the classroom behavior of a student is disruptive, the student will be required to meet with the Associate Dean, who may
- Assess additional sanctions;
- Place the student on academic probation and impose a disciplinary contract;
- Recommend dismissal from the Academy.
Dropping or Retaking a Class
A student who drops a core course may be dismissed from the Academy. Students may drop non-core classes only with permission of the Director of Academic Programs. Students who drop any class must pay the Academy for all registration fees and costs of course materials, including textbooks. Students whose transcripts show dropped or repeated courses are at risk of being denied admission to prestigious universities or of being less competitive for academic scholarships. Students who voluntarily withdraw from the Academy before the end of the semester may be required to reimburse the Academy for all registration fees. A core course, such as Political Science or History, taken out of the recommended sequence will be counted as both a core class and one of the their electives. Hence, if a student takes a core class out of sequence, they will not be allowed to drop the class.
Grades of "I" (incomplete)
Students who are assigned grades of "I" must complete the work required for removal of the "I" prior to June 1 in order to return for a second year.
Grade Reports and GPA Computation
The Academic Office will mail mid-semester grade reports to each student’s home address. The University will post each student’s course grades for the semester on-line. The student’s GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points by the total number of semester credit hours (sch) attempted. The grade of A is worth 4 grade points for each credit hour, B is worth 3 grade points for each credit hour, C is worth 2 grade points for each credit hour, D is worth 1 grade point for each credit hour, and F is worth 0 grade points. An example for GPA computation is given below:
|Biology||3 credit hours||A||12 grade points|
|Biology lab||1 credit hour||B||3 grade points|
|Chemistry||3 credit hours||B||9 grade points|
|Chemistry lab||1 credit hour||A||4 grade points|
|Calculus I||4 credit hours||A||16 grade points|
|English||3 credit hours||B||9 grade points|
GPA = (total number of grade points) ÷ (total number of credit hours) = (53) ÷ (15) = 3.533
Students are expected to maintain the highest level of honesty and integrity in academic pursuits. Departments have specific policies concerning academic dishonesty, which are described in course syllabi. Any violation of such policies, or any other form of academic dishonesty, will be reported to the Academy. According to UNT Rules and Regulations, acts of dishonesty include, but are not limited to, cheating or plagiarism as described below:
- The term “cheating” includes but is not limited to: (1) use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; (2) dependence upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; or (3) the acquisition, without permission of tests or other academic material belonging to a faculty or staff member of the university.
- The term “plagiarism” includes, but is not limited to, the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
Students with a documented case of academic dishonesty may be dismissed from the Academy.
Students are placed on academic probation in the following circumstances:
- The semester GPA at the end of the Fall semester of the Junior year is below 3.0 but not less than 2.7 (any student whose first semester GPA is less than 2.7 will be dismissed).
- A grade of D is assigned in any course (students who receive an F in any course will be dismissed from the Academy).
- Students may be placed on academic probation if the Directors feel it is in the best interest of the student.
Note: If a junior is placed on academic probation at the end of the Fall semester, then the cumulative GPA at the end of the Spring semester must be at least 3.0 in order to return for the second year.
While on academic probation, the student:
- Must meet with an academic counselor once each week;
- Must work with assigned tutors;
- May not hold any leadership office in UNT or TAMS organizations;
- Loses certain privileges as determined by the Director of Academic Programs.
Dismissal or Withdrawal from the Academy
Students are dismissed from the Academy for the following academic reasons:
- The semester GPA is lower than 3.0 for any semester other than then Fall semester of the Junior year (The cumulative GPA must be 3.0 at the end of the Spring semester of the Junior year in order to return for the second year)
- A junior student placed on academic probation at the end of the Fall semester whose cumulative or semester GPA at the end of the Spring semester is lower than 3.0
- A senior whose Fall semester GPA is lower than 3.0
- Documented cases of academic dishonesty
- Disruptive or disrespectful classroom behavior that is not corrected immediately
- A student who drops any core course may be dismissed
- A student who receives a grade of F in any course will be dismissed
Students who withdraw from the Academy for any reason may not enroll as a student at UNT until their class graduates from TAMS. Students who are dismissed or who withdraw from the Academy are not eligible for the TAMS Diploma.
NOTE: The TAMS Administration will review each student's academic and disciplinary record at the end of each semester. We reserve the right to make decisions about whether a student continues at the Academy of not, depending on individual circumstances.
Recommendations for Academic Success
Because university courses are so much more intense, move at a very fast pace, and assume immediate recall of prior knowledge, it is imperative that students adopt a much more rigorous study pattern than was required in high school. Grades for most courses are assigned based on only three or four exams, and most courses require a comprehensive final examination. Classes generally meet either two or three times per week. Homework is assigned but not necessarily collected and graded. In order to be successful, it is imperative that Academy students:
- ATTEND ALL CLASSES
- Pay attention to the teacher and DO NOT play on a computer of use ear-phones
- Do all assigned work and study ahead
- Prepare homework the same day that it is assigned
- Study each subject at least four days each week regardless of how many times the class meets per week (study each subject 30-90 minutes each day – studying is like taking medication in that you spread it out and don’t do it all at once!)
- Form study groups and participate actively in the study sessions
- Make use of the professor’s office hours or other tutorial services provided for additional help – don’t hesitate to ask for help and don’t wait until the last minute
- Make frustrations and needs known to the Academic Counselor or to the Director of Academic Programs
- Begin to prepare for exams a week in advance
- Rewrite class notes and outline text material
- Be disciplined and responsible for your own learning
- Enjoy learning
- Get plenty of rest, physical exercise, and good food!
- Continue to study during breaks between semesters and during the summer
College Advising, Applications, Letters of Recommendation, and Scholarships
Academy students will be mailing applications for college admission and scholarships in the Fall semester of their senior year. It is essential students begin filling out these applications no later than the summer prior to the senior year. Either the College Advisor or an Academic Counselor will be assigned to every student during their second semester at TAMS to provide assistance with college and scholarship applications. Seminar presentations and workshops about the application process are given by the College Advisor. A Guide to College Admissions, published on-line by the TAMS Academic Office, is available to all juniors and their parents. Other on-line computer resources should also be used. Applications will require letters of recommendation from faculty and the TAMS staff. It is important that students become acquainted with faculty and with TAMS staff so that recommendation letters can be stronger and reflect unique characteristics of the student. Attitudes and classroom behavior that exhibit respect for authority, alertness, promptness with assigned work, imagination, and eagerness to learn are important characteristics to cultivate. It is necessary to give faculty and staff ample time to prepare recommendation letters – at least three weeks before the deadline for submission. Students should be sure to express appropriate gratitude to those who write recommendation letters.
Numerous scholarship opportunities are available for Academy graduates who have high SAT scores, outstanding grades, strong initiative, clean disciplinary records, and good communication skills. These opportunities include the Siemens Competition, Intel Science Talent Search, the Goldwater scholarship, the Morris Udall Scholarship, National Merit Scholarships, along with many merit or need based scholarships given by the admitting institution. Official UNT transcripts are required for university and scholarship applications. Transcripts are obtained from the university Registrar’s Office located in the Eagle Student Services Building, and must be given to the assigned TAMS College Advisor.
A unique feature of the TAMS experience is the opportunity to work in a research lab or on a research project either with a professor here on campus, at a medical facility such as M.D. Anderson or Presbyterian Hospitals, at the Johnson Space Center (NASA) in Houston, MIT, Caltech, a medical school such as UT Medical Branch in Galveston or UT-Southwestern, etc. Students are required to prepare a technical report about their work in these research projects, and occasionally are able to publish their work in a research journal. Students learn not only about what they would like to pursue as a career but also what they may wish not to pursue. Depending on budget constraints, the TAMS Academic Office can provide some scholarship support for students who choose to pursue summer research projects. The research experience provides an excellent source of information for the preparation of papers and essays that are part of the scholarship and university application process.
The Fall Convocation officially begins the new academic year and is a required assembly of all Academy students. Recognition is given to senior students who are National Merit Semi-Finalists, National Achievement Semi-Finalists, National Hispanic Recognition Semi-Finalists, and Commended National Scholars. Winners of various other awards are also announced, including the University President’s Honor Roll (4.0 GPA) and the Dean’s Honor Roll (3.5 – 3.99 GPA). In addition, qualified senior students are inducted into the National Honor Society. Parents, relatives, faculty, staff, and friends are encouraged to attend this weekend event.
National Honor Society
Seniors are inducted into the National Honor Society only once a year at the Academy Convocation in September. Qualifications for induction and for continuing membership in NHS are:
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
- No more than 30 disciplinary points at any time during your tenure at TAMS
- Attendance at the Fall Convocation
- Dedication to scholarship, leadership, service, honesty, integrity, and truthfulness
- Payment of required dues (non-refundable) by the date given in the letter of invitation
- NHS recognition at graduation requires 50 hours of community service, with 25 of these completed by the end of the Junior year
Seniors will participate in graduation ceremonies on Friday evening of Final Exam Week. Unfortunately, because of the size of the University Auditorium, each graduate must be limited to about seven or eight guests. Parents will be notified in early Spring about the number of guests that can be accommodated. The Academy hosts a reception after the graduation ceremonies in the Union Building for students and their guests. Questions about the commencement ceremony should be directed to the TAMS Dean’s Office (Phone: 940-565-3606).
PSAT and SAT I
All juniors are required to take the PSAT exam during their first semester at the Academy. This is the exam used to identify National Merit Semi-Finalists, essentially all of whom become National Merit Finalists which qualifies them for prestigious scholarships.
Although students took the SAT I prior to enrolling in the Academy, it is recommended that this exam be taken again during the Spring of the junior year or the Fall of the senior year. Registration materials are available on-line (www.collegeboard.com) or in the Academic Office. Students should be careful to choose a date when the exam is offered in Denton, unless a travel weekend is used to take the exam at home. Students should register early to take the SAT since testing sites fill quickly.
After Graduation from TAMS
State legislators ask for various sets of data as a means to justify continuing to fund the Academy. One question always asked is where are your graduates and what are they doing. We can usually report that about 80% of our graduates are pursuing degrees and careers in mathematics or the sciences. Hence it is essential that TAMS graduates stay in touch with us after graduation and keep us posted about what they are doing. Graduates are encouraged to join the TAMS Alumni Association, and drop in for a visit when back on campus.
The University of North Texas is an equal opportunity institution and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. Students with disabilities are required to register with the University Office of Disability Accommodations in order to make use of their services and to receive accommodation. For further information, contact the Office of Disability Accommodation in the University Union.
Some Academy students choose to take courses in summer school, either here at UNT or elsewhere. None of the core courses required for graduation can be taken during summer school, on the web, by correspondence or during a mini-semester. It is recommended that courses in fine arts, physical education, languages, or computer science be selected since these may be required for admission by some universities.